Vacationing for better mental health

If you’re reading this post during a time of social distancing, now is the time to plan and prepare for your next journey!

When thinking about steps you can take to improve your mental health, don’t forget to consider the often overlooked benefits of taking a vacation. Whether you’re interested in the natural beauty of a state park or looking to let your hair down in a big city, getting away from your normal surroundings could be the change of routine that you need. 


Mental health is an all encompassing term that refers to your social, psychological and emotional wellbeing. Your grasp on such things is how you either foster or sabotage interpersonal relationships. It dictates how well you cope with stress and challenges and, more importantly, how you recover from them. It is important to know that you don’t necessarily need a masters in mental health counseling to take steps to strengthen your psychological happiness.


Being mentally healthy doesn’t simply mean that you are not inflicted with certain illnesses of the mind; it’s much bigger than that. Having good mental health means you enjoy life. You are confident and secure in who you are and you enjoy living your life to its fullest. You know what makes you happy and you aren’t afraid to pursue it. Being confident with who you are will make you less apprehensive about trying new things and meeting new people. You won’t be discouraged from adapting to any changes that life throws at you; instead, you will take it in your stride. Having a strong mental position allows you to bounce back from adversity and take life’s curveballs in your stride. You know how to adapt, be flexible and strike a balance between work and play. 

It is important to understand that even with the best mental health you will have stress and anxiety. It’s not necessarily what life brings you, it’s how you deal with it. Life is full of ups and downs. It is normal to experience stress, sadness and disappointment; in fact, it is unavoidable. The most important thing is to remain focused and positive. Even if you don’t readily see the solution to whatever you are going through, being able to tell yourself that you will get through it and overcome it is the biggest part of overcoming adversity. 

Get Away

Whereas it is commendable to be a hard worker and dedicated to your career or profession, it is also important for your mental health to get away and have a change of scenery. When you plan a break, whether it’s a week or two vacation or just a weekend away, you have something positive to focus on. Allow yourself the opportunity to get excited about what your upcoming event may entail and the memories that you will make. When it comes to true happiness, that is found in actual experiences as opposed to objects or things you may be able to buy. You can’t put a price on memories with those you love.

When you are feeling depressed, it is common to withdraw from interpersonal interactions. Even though you may think that solitude will help you because you don’t feel like you can face being social, it’s one of the worst things you can do. Human beings are social creatures. You need human interactions. When you feel low or sad, even though a phone call may help you, the best solution is to visit with a friend or family. Allowing yourself to share the in person company of a close friend who is a good listener and won’t judge or criticize what you have to say. 

The journey to good mental health begins with being self-aware. Evaluate your life and interactions and make sure you are still enjoying things you always have. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you are feeling overwhelmed. 

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.



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